Larry Hamm doesn’t want to be overly negative. But he also doesn’t want to merely accept the two trillion dollar aid package without sizing up its more glaring defects, as he acknowledges living through not only the biggest foreign policy disaster of our lifetimes (Iraq and Afghanistan) but now the biggest domestic fiasco in COVID-19.
“I was taught, probably like most people, that it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness, but this emergency aid package is yet again one more example of a transfer of wealth to the top tier of the country,” said Hamm, the perennially Nehru-capped progressive candidate for the U.S. Senate in what is currently scheduled as a June Primary in the state of New Jersey, subject to crisis reassessment by Governor Phil Murphy.
“It’s probably the biggest wealth transfer that has ever occurred, and it is largely irrational and emblematic of arrogance and greed,” said the Democratic challenger of U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), who filed with the Secretary of State’s Office with over 2K petition signatures.
Hamm compared the entire experience of witnessing Congress’ eagerness to bend reality only to suit power to living in a painting by Salvador Dali. That said, the candidate seized on the moment to reassert the ideals that he argues continue to drive his own and the presidential candidacy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, whose campaign Hamm chairs in New Jersey.
“It is not outside the realm of possibility for Bernie Sanders to win,” he said, in the face of Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden (leading 1,217 to 914 in the delegate count) calling for Sanders to surrender.
“Half the states have not had their primary, and we may see a super month in June – akin to a Super-Tuesday situation, with a number of states already annouucing that they are moving their primaries to June,” said Hamm. “There are a majority of states left and my hope is that Bernie Sanders will stay in this race. He has absolutely been correct on the need for Medicare for all and a universal sytem of healthcare. We don’t have a national healthcare system. We have a patchwork, which is the biggest example of socialism for the rich.”
But Italy has a socialized healthcare and they are taking heavy casualties.
“They’d be stepping over bodies in the streets if they had a private healthcare system,” said the U.S. Senate candidate. “In the United States, we have to catch up to the rest of the industrial world.”
Since the intensification of the COVID-19 crisis, “A lot has changed in people’s thinking. A majority of Americans favor Medicare for all.
“Bernie Sanders can make it,” Hamm added.
The native Newarker thought he had seen it all with America’s Vietnam policy, only to watch the U.S. get mired for nearly 20 years in the Middle East.
Now the virus.
“Our government played a role in not being prepared for this crisis,” he said. “Our intelligence agencies had full knowledge of what was coming. The Trump Administration cut back CDC [Centers for Disease Control] funds to those on the frontlines, and sent tons of protective equipment to China. When historians look back on this, they will not look kindly on the Trump Administration’s response.”
It almost goes without saying that COVID-19 altered the ssenate campaign of Hamm, who proved a ubiquitous campaigner early.
“Now, the possibility of campaigning in a conventional way is out of the question,” he said. “I think the restrictions Governor Murphy has put into effect are a common sense part of an attempt to ameliorate the crisis. Naturrally, it prevents rallies and meetings and all the things we were doing, but when conditions in a battle change, you have to change, and right now we’re trying to move everything to a virtual strategy. Social media was always part of our strategy but while it was lower, like five, we’ve moved it move up to nunber one.
“We soldier on,” Hamm added. “What I wuld like to say mostly, if there is one thing I can communicate, it’s that on behalf of the Sanders and Hamm campaigns, I express my condolences to those in our state and outside our state, a 21-gun salute, for the front line healthcare hospital workers, including my daughter.”
To date he said he has not spoken personally with any of the Democratic canndidates in Congressional Battleground 2 about a posssible alliance across jagged political lines.
“All I know is Van Drew has got to go,” Hamm said, referring to U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2), who changed party affiliation last year sooner than back the impeachment of President Donald J. Trump. “I don’t need to know the details. That guy has got to go. I wish them [the Democrats vying to win the congressional primary in Van DRew’s district] the best of luck.
“Please reach out to me any time,” he added with a laugh.